3,500 Digital Cameras, 220 DVMRe’s Keep Eye on 98,000-plus Students
AUSTIN, TEXAS. – July 15, 2004 – The Security business of GE Infrastructure (NYSE:GE) today announced that DeKalb County Schools in metropolitan Atlanta has installed 3,500 GE cameras and 220 GE digital video multiplexer recorders with Ethernet connection capabilities at 140 schools and centers district-wide in a major upgrade of its video surveillance systems.
More than 98,000 students attend the district’s 83 elementary schools, 18 middle schools, 20 high schools and 18 specialized centers. The security system has not only helped resolve incidents more quickly and accurately, but it has also resulted in a reduced need for guard service at district schools.
“The school district wanted to do away with video tapes and have a way to view camera feeds over their LAN (local area network),” said Dr. Herb Dixon, CPP, President of Southern A.T./Open Options Security, Inc. of Norcross, Georgia, the dealership which installed the GE video systems. “Now, each school has its own control room and the school detective can quickly review video and burn evidence CDs if necessary.”
Each control room has two monitors—a 21-inch monitor for cameras 1-16, and a 17.4-inch plasma screen for cameras 17-32. A plasma screen doubles as a CPU monitor for review and access control.
Every school in the district is now outfitted with 32 to 48 cameras, with most located in public areas such as hallways, parking lots, cafeterias and school entrances. The cameras are integrated with the school’s access control system. The cameras are also used to prevent prospective problems.
“For instance, there is a camera at the front parent sign-in/out desk at every school. If a parent comes to the school upset and sees himself on the video, he usually calms down. The video helps diffuse potential outbursts,” Dixon added. “Fights and break-ins have been recorded and the word quickly got out that this type of behavior was recorded. Currently, the district is using video evidence to track down an arsonist in one of the neighborhoods.”
Ralph Dodson, the district’s Security Administrator, said the district set up a central control room that monitors all district facilities. The master control room is located in a renovated section of the DeKalb County Schools Police Department. Some police officers responding to alarms or incidents at the campus can actually view recorded images from laptop computers in their patrol cars.
“Everyone is being taught how to use the camera system, including the principal and assistant principals,” Dodson said. “As part of the installation contract, a Southern A.T. employee is on campus every day, maintaining the equipment and teaching school personnel how to use it. ”
The overall $8.9 million security upgrade was funded by a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).
About GE Infrastructure, Security
The Security business of GE Infrastructure is a wholly owned subsidiary of the General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) focused on communication and information technologies for security, safety and lifestyle enhancements. Security has operations in more than 30 countries and is represented by some of the best-known brand names for intrusion and fire detection, access and building control, video surveillance, explosive and drug detection, key management and structured wiring. For more information about GE’s Security business and our product offerings, please visit www.GESecurity.com.